I decided to do some singing

July 19, 2010 at 11:08 am | Posted in Video Games | 32 Comments
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Last night I decided to sing “Still Alive” from Portal and いのちの名前 (Inochi no Namae) from [千と千尋の神隠し]… or “Spirited Away” as it’s known in the US (a movie I absolutely adore). Unfortunately the audio was distorting a lot more than when I recorded the previous two videos and I’m not sure why. It could have been that there were more chords/notes below middle C, but I don’t know. This also caused me to compensate by singing more weakly… so please go easy on me.


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  1. I loved the second video, 千と千尋の神隠し is my favorite movie of all times and that song reminds me so much of the feeling I like so much of the movie.

    Maybe not all your readers know japanese so I am gonna try to translate what you said in the beginning of the video:


    (and I think it means the following)

    Hello everyone. I am Laura Shigihara. This is my very first video in japanese. I am going to sing a japanese song that I like. The name of the song is “Inochi no namae” and it comes from “Sen to Chihiro no Kamikakushi”. Listen please.

    Oh boy, I hope I got it right, my japanese is very basic. I hope I got the kanji of your last name correct. Also, I ommited some stuff like あのう and じゃ because those are like things one say when talking like “Uhm…” in case someone thinks I missed those.

    • Hi seigiac, thank-you for watching the videos, I’m glad you likedいえのちの名前! Also, thank-you for translating… every part was translated well, including the kanji of my last name ^_^

  2. That was great! I loved the 2nd song, reminded me of the little totoros in Spirited Away, they made me laugh xD
    1st video was an instant winner when you showed the companion cube plushie 😛
    I only wish this was in a better audio quality, the youtube audio is kind of awful :/

    • Do you mean the makkurokurosuke (the little black soot balls with the eyes)? I love those guys, they’re so cute 🙂 Yeah, I wish the audio quality was better too… I’m trying to put together a setup where I can record the voice and piano separately from the video, and then edit it together later (since webcam mics aren’t the best quality).

  3. Nice performances. I don’t know Japanese but I’ve tried studying it several times throughout my life, with only marginal success. But I do love listening to the music, even if I don’t know what exactly it is saying.

    • Thank-you Nojh 🙂 Did you study on your own, or at school?

  4. Your voice is really good Laura 🙂 I remember when I did Still Alive (it was strangely catchy) with some friends it took several tries. Did you get it all in one take?

    Also, where did you get the companion cube plush? Other than the audio quality, I guess it would have been better if your Companion cube was more involved in your video.

    • Thank-you… I think I didn’t sing very well this time though; I was trying too hard to sing softly to compensate for the audio distortion and I ended up messing up the pitch… but hopefully it was okay! Yes this was all one take, but it took me a couple of tries to get through it (for some reason I kept forgetting the words, hehe) 😛 My boyfriend gave me the Companion Cube plushie… but I’m not sure where he got it; there might be a Valve store online perhaps?

  5. Loved both of the songs. I strongly suggest you go to the studio! BTW, how is your album coming 🙂

    • Hehe, yeah I’m trying to figure out a better way to do the audio in these videos… it would be so nice to just be able to play and sing without worrying about the distortion 😛

      As for the album, although I’m not planning on plunging ahead full steam with it until Melolune is finished, I’ve actually been working on a lot of new songs here and there and just recording scratch vocals on the iPhone. I just wrote a new song that I’m really excited about… I might arrange it and upload a sample sometime soon 🙂

  6. Hey Laura, I hope you’re doing fine :), Nice job with both of the songs, Especially Still Alive! Stay strong! If I may ask Laura, what was the hardest belt test in all of your training in Shotokan, and would you happen to know, Sensei Okazaki? I’m just quite curious to hear about your Karate experience. I wish you a peaceful and great life Laura, God Bless and take care!

    Your supportive fan,

    • Thanks Stephen 🙂 You know, it’s been such a long time since I’ve done Shotokan! But I think the most challenging test for me was the one that involved doing the “Heian Go-dan” Kata. It was one of the earlier tests, so it wasn’t as physically challenging as some of the later ones… but for some reason I was nervous about it 😛 I don’t know Sensei Okazaki actually. Where does he teach?

      • Actually, according to my sensei, he visits numerous countries for tournaments and training, but apparently he lives in America, He happens to teach at the University of Pennsylvania, Drexel University, West Chester University, and Thomas Jefferson University. He’s a pretty good teacher, 79 years old and stil strong. Currently he’s a 10th dan.

  7. Hi Laura, nice singing there, especially for “Inochi no Namae”! Could I make a song request? It’s also from ‘Spirited Away’, the ending theme “Itsumo Nando Demo”. Do you like this song? My gf likes it very much. :o)

    • Thank-you 🙂 For some reason I can’t remember what the ending theme sounds like… I’ll try to listen to it sometime though. Perhaps I can try to sing it later!

  8. I loved your singing on the Still Alive song, it was great, even with the webcam audio how it was 😀 Also loved the little “thankyou” at the end, was very cute hehe.

    Btw, you should ask one of your friends to do the companion cube bit in the game, so you don’t have to do it yourself, so you can keep going and finish Portal. Though I’m sure you wouldn’t have the heart to ask anyone that either 🙂

    • Thanks Dean 🙂 I don’t think I could do that either! I’d feel too sad about letting it die, hehe 😛 But I’ve actually watched the gameplay from that point until the end, so at least I’ve been able to experience it off-hand. I’m very curious if there will be a CC in Portal 2!

  9. That was very cool! It’s interesting to hear it sung without Glados’s sarcastic note of reproach 🙂 I loved Spirited Away because even though it was a movie kids could enjoy, it didn’t treat you like you were blind, and sometimes it would just show you things with no explanation, as if hey, that’s just what happens in that world, and you can figure it out yourself.

    If you want the sound to be better you need to put something soft around/underneath the microphone (but not in front of it). If you’re just using the mic on your laptop, put a couple of soft things like jerseys under it. The buzzing thing you hear on the lower notes is the piano causing some resonance and it’s shaking the whole microphone. If you could get a microphone on a wire that would be best, even if it is very cheap! Then you can put it a little further away and it would not need to sit on top of the piano, you could sing louder without causing distortion.

    • Thank-you for the tip about the webcam mic, I’ll definitely make sure to try it out! I’ve actually been trying to figure out a way to record the audio performance separately of the video. My computer is all configured to record audio for both singing and instruments (since I have to record that kind of stuff all the time for work), but there’s no convenient place to put the webcam since the keyboard I use for recordings is facing a wall and is wired to everything already (for my last videos I’ve been using the laptop instead of my studio computer). Hopefully I can figure something out so you guys don’t have to listen to distorted audio 😛

      And yeah, I love Spirited Away! The first time I watched it, I remember thinking “what the heck” like every few minutes because it just got more and more removed from reality with every scene… it was so whimsical and fantastic.

  10. I think its adorable that you couldn’t kill the companion cube 🙂

    Thanks for sharing your music with us, I always enjoy listening!

    • Thank-you for listening David!

  11. omg, Spirited Away! My childhood!

    ちょう懐かしい~ Thanks a lot for uploading this! I didn’t even notice the terrible webcam mic because I was busy singing along with you, ahahah 🙂


    • Thank-you Curis 🙂 I’m glad the distorted audio didn’t detract too much! Spirited Away is very 懐かしい for me too, though I didn’t see it until I was older… it was still a very magical experience.

  12. I watched the videos 10 times! The songs is cute and really nice! Thanks Laura 🙂

    • Hehe, thanks Keito 🙂 I’m glad you enjoyed it!

  13. Laura, you have the most beautiful voice! All the things you do are great, making rpgs, writing music, applying butter to zombies, rocking yoshi slippers, but anything involving your voice is my favorite. I hope you keep singing and sharing it with us.

    If you’re taking requests I have two. First is the song from the Melolune IGN Demo video on youtube. Is this in Japanese? I read somewhere that it is actually a made up language you created just for the game. Second request is Unstolen Jewel from the end of Chrono Cross.

    Can’t wait to see what happens August 2nd!

    • Thank-you JD ^_^ I’m really glad you like my singing, even though I must apologize for not singing so well in these two videos. And I’d love to do those two requests! One question though… which piece is “Unstolen Jewel”? Is it the Radical Dreamers song?

  14. I love your Japanese video, man I wish you would release a Japanese single in Japan or something. (since I doubt a Japanese song would do well in America lol). You are soo talented, It stinks that I guess you are still considered independent but with your skills you should so be major.

    I think with the right company/promotion you could be right up there with Ayumi Hamasaki or Utada Hikaru.

    I can’t wait until the day comes when you are an above ground success instead of an underground. The potential for great success for you is there right now, so many people love you.

    I realize you are a busy woman with PvZ and your other jobs, I just really enjoy your vocal works and piano works alot.

    Keep at it! Shigi rocks.

  15. Oh man, the companion cube. XP I kept running around the rooms trying to click on stuff and generally trying to find a way out, until one of my friends who was watching said that I really had to kill it and I did…
    Then one of my other friends (the hack&slash/melee/bloody gore fan in our gaming group) put a hand on my shoulder, shaked his head and disappointedly said: “How could you do that…” XP
    Classic gaming moment for me. =)

    Thank you for sharing Laura, very much enjoyed your singing, as always! ^_^

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